New Anti-stalking legislation comes into force

New Anti-stalking legislation comes into force

A new offence of stalking involving fear of violence carries a maximum 5 year sentence. The new offence came into formce on 25 November 2012 and encompasses sections 111 and 112 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The new anti-stalking legislation covers only England and Wales. The sections insert new sections 2A and 4A into the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

The new section 2A introduces a new offence of stalking. A person will be guilty of committing this new offence if that person pursues a course of conduct in breach of the prohibition on harassment in section 1(1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the course of conduct amounts to stalking. This new offence carries a maximum six month sentence.

The new section 4A introduces a new offence of stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress. A person would be guilty of the new offence where that person pursues a course of conduct amounting to stalking which causes another to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against them or it causes the victim serious alarm or distress that has a substantial adverse effect on their usual day-to-day activities and the person knows or ought to know that his course of conduct will have such an effect on the victim. This offence carries a maximum 5 year sentence.

The legislation is here.